Mental health is a serious problem that is nearly not given the amount of attention and concern that it requires. Even though the world is progressing and people are more aware, mental health happens to be one of the aspects that we often tend to overlook. It is the bitter truth. Our level of ignorance is startling. Women are more prone to mental illness than men, 40% more according to research. The exact reason why is still undetermined. There are biological, traumatic and socio-cultural issues associated with the condition. Following are 5 conditions that women have a higher susceptibility to.
By far one of the most common and most overlooked issues in our society today. Women happen to be twice as susceptible to depression as men due to psychological and physical reasons. Women produce less serotonin in their bodies and our hormone levels fluctuate more owing to estrogen. Society pressures and gender roles have led to more stress and thus mood swings. Post-partum depression is a rather uncommon variant that needs to be discussed more especially with pregnant women and their families to raise awareness. It is not uncommon to let depression go by as “just a phase”.
Similar to depression, women are twice as susceptible to anxiety, phobias, and panic disorders as men. It can often go undiagnosed by simply implying that the person is just nervous, stressed or worse, hormonal. Anxiety goes way beyond the scope of that.
3) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Rape is reported to be the number 1 trigger of post-traumatic stress disorder in females. Every 1 in 5 women is reported to get raped in her lifetime. A victim of sexual abuse as a child is also another overlooked trigger. According to statistics, 82% of abuse victims are women.
4) Eating Disorders
Perhaps the most crucial area of concern especially in teenage girls is that of eating disorders. As young children, we were exposed to a specific set of gender norms that made it ridiculously hard to cope up. Acceptance is not easy because of unattainable beauty standards set since the beginning of time about how women specifically are supposed to look, thanks to media and pop culture. It is truly disgusting but it is the bitter reality. 85% of anorexia and bulimia cases and a staggering 65% of binge eating problems are reported to be females.
5) Suicidal Tendencies
Owing to stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, post-partum depression, childhood abuse or trauma, women are prone to suicidal tendencies. Male suicide is more common but females attempt suicide more than men do.
Mental illness is still considered a taboo in many cultures. The only forms that many remotely take into consideration are extreme cases. This disease has the ability to consume you in a way worse than any other illness. Do not consider it a joke. Be more sensitive towards the people around you who are suffering and be more aware around the ones who might be struggling with it. Do not let it go undiagnosed. Let this serve as a wake-up call.